The Healthcare Biz: 5 Insights for Small Medical Offices

There's a lot of uncertainty with increasing healthcare demands and an uncertain future for insurance. It's becoming more difficult for your small practice to maintain independence. But it's your reputation and your livelihood.

Helping others shouldn't be such a challenge for you, but healthcare is a business and requires some sound strategies. Here are a few tips to keep your small practice balanced and competitive.

1. Plan for Your Success

All businesses, in the medical field and otherwise, need to have a plan that spells out long and short-term goals. If you don't have a clear picture of what you want from your practice and how to move forward, you're going to be caught up in the routine details and make little progress as a business.

Watch your profit margins and weigh the relative risks as well as rewards of any expenditures. Expect to pay more for quality staff. Hire marketers or consultants if necessary, but along with expert care, focus on growth as a business.

2. Provide Value

As a lone doctor or partnership, you should emphasize and exploit what your professional strengths are. You can then start to base your marketing on specific skills, treatments, or credentials, and use that to target the major demographic of your patients. Being viewed as a specialist in common conditions such as arthritis or diabetes, rather than a general practitioner, will drive more of those patients your way and even justify higher rates.

More contact with a physician rather than a nurse may also boost patient confidence and satisfaction. You can't do everything, but the more personalized and friendly treatment you can provide, the better the patient experience you're offering.

3. Revenue is Critical

It's great to be able to call the shots and make all the decisions, but you still have to be practical and compromise occasionally to keep a good cash flow going. Your office should be attentive to not just generating more revenue, but protecting the income you receive.

Train front office personnel to verify patient insurance so you can count on payment. Consider installing an electronic medical billing system to make the process faster and easier. Digital health systems can also support quicker and more HIPAA-compliant records management. Every second of administration time you can save is another second to devote to patient care.

4. Waste Management

Small practices have a need to contract with the most affordable solutions for medical waste disposal. Consider recycling also, both for PR practices and when it comes to purchasing cheaper office supplies.

As one example, dental practices can make money back by recycling used or broken dental appliances such as orthodontics and crowns. A dental refinishing company can evaluate your dental scrap through the mail and make electronic payments for a very convenient process.

5. Market Online

If you don't have a website, or are using only a basic webpage to advertise, it's time to step up your digital presence. Before committing to large purchases, 81 percent of users search online first to make comparisons. By including your city name in your online content, local searchers will be able to find you more easily.

Engage with the public on social media. Make your website more valuable by providing information on symptoms or treatments. Add engaging elements like trivia, videos, and feedback forms. You should also consider adding secure scheduling apps so patients can make and verify their own appointments right there on your site. This will also free up time for your office staff.

It's important to remember that your medical practice is essentially a business providing a service. Find ways to create both a better patient experience and greater efficiency.

About the author

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. If you are interested in an online safety degree, Anica suggests you check out the programs offered by Eastern Kentucky University.


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